At Quotable Media Co we’ve been running on a 4-day work week for years.
Have you seen people talking about 4-day work weeks, but feel it may be out of reach for your company? If you’re interested in creating a better work-life balance for yourself and your employees while increasing productivity and efficiency, listen in to this episode where Alessandra explains exactly how and why Quotable Media Co makes it work. This is the real, imperfect, behind the scenes look at what we do as a PR agency and media company. While not all of it may be applicable to your business, you will enjoy this peek behind the curtain, and find many takeaways that you can implement no matter your industry. It will get you thinking about what’s possible for you and your company and give you some ideas for how you can enhance work-life balance and improve productivity.
We asked you the listeners what you wanted to hear for this week’s podcast episode, and a majority of you voted to hear about how Quotable Media Co successfully runs on a 4-day work week. So Quotable Podcast host, Alessandra Pollina, will be sharing how this works for Quotable Media Co to give you insight into how you can successfully implement a 4-day workweek in your business. If you’re curious how this could work for you, listen in to hear how you can take more control of your time by implementing a successful 4-day workweek.
How “Summer Fridays” Helped us Transition to a 4-Day Work Week
When COVID hit in 2020, everyone experienced a dramatic shift in priorities. For Quotable Media Co, that meant prioritizing time outside of work, while still running a PR agency and media company. So we decided to implement what we called, “Summer Fridays” which allowed the entire team to have an additional day off throughout that summer.
I always felt like I could accomplish more in four days than most companies do in five if I wanted to. And I knew that I could find a team of people who also could do that. – Alessandra Pollina
However, when fall came around, we were accomplishing all of our work within a 4-day work week, so it didn’t make sense to go back!
Transitioning a business to a 4-day workweek takes intentionality and drive, things I know most entrepreneurs are full of! For Quotable Media Co, the transition was pretty simple. We essentially blocked off Fridays as being “fully booked” and never looked back. We are able to structure the workweek efficiently so that we stay on top of projects and utilize project management software to keep us on track. We also worked hard to establish trust within the team and focus on goal planning and achievement.
The way to run a four-day work week is just the same way that you run a five-day work week, you just are not available on one of the days. – Alessandra Pollina
The shift to a 4-day workweek carries the potential to optimize productivity and boost job satisfaction. The extra day off allows employees to better balance personal responsibilities, resulting in less stress and improved focus during work hours. This strategy supports the alignment of professional and personal life, enhancing overall well-being and work performance. Host, Alessandra Pollina, tells us, “We need more time outside of work. We just need at least one more day for all the things that fill us up.”
Listen to the full episode to hear more details on how this works at Quotable Media Co.
This episode is brought to you by Quotable Media Co. If you’re looking to expand your brand’s visibility and impact through PR this year, let’s chat!
I feel like I’ve seen people talking about four day work weeks a lot more and more frequently, at least lately. And it’s something that quotable has done for the past several years. So with so much interest about it, I thought it could be worth doing an episode about it. And it was actually funny. I did a poll on Instagram to see with a couple of topics that I had in mind for this episode and I wanted to just see what people probably do the others too, but I wanted to see what people were most interested in for this month’s episode and this one overwhelmingly had the most votes.
So people are interested in four day work weeks and hearing about how companies do them, I guess. I personally also love it when people talk about anything that has to do with how they run their business. Especially when it comes to four day work weeks, though, because even though we do it, I always feel like I learn something new when I hear someone else talking about it. Right. Everybody has different things that once you see behind the scenes, they have different ways of doing things or different ways to implement, and I always love to hear what those are and if there’s any other tips and tricks that they have that I should be doing.
So whenever I’ve heard an episode about this kind of thing, I always listen, even though it’s something we already do. So I hope that even if you already do a four day work week, you might listen in and hey, if you have any other suggestions or ideas of how you do things, let me know. This is just going to be kind of how we are doing it. I’m not saying this is the best way to do it, the right way for you to do it, but yeah, I always feel like I get takeaways when I hear other people talk about it. I hope you might get a takeaway from this that you might be able to use in your business.
And yeah, maybe we can each strengthen our processes a little bit based on what we hear or talk about or learn today.
At the very least, even if you’re like, I can never do a four day work week. I hope at least this gets you thinking about different ways to run your business. Maybe you can and you just thought you couldn’t or yeah, at the very least it’ll get you thinking. So I kind of want to talk about why we do four day work weeks and then how we do it and kind of like those best practices for how we’ve made it be successful.
So the question of why we do the four day work week, I think the ultimate takeaway is that the way to run a four day work week is just the same way that you run a five day work week, you just are not available on one of the days. And people don’t really question that as much as you might think that they will. If you say you’re not available for a meeting on a Thursday, no one’s like, why are you not available on Thursday? And it’s the same exact thing on Friday. If you say that you’re not available or you just don’t offer it as available, no one really questions it.
That’s what it is, right? So anyway, if you’re not going to listen to the whole episode, that’s my main takeaway. But yeah, why do we do it, right? I mean, I guess it sounds kind of obvious, I think, but aside from just getting to work less and have longer weekends, the reason that we really dove into doing it to begin with was essentially just stemmed from doing Summer Fridays a couple of years ago. And actually, I think we first started this was in 2020, so it was like the first summer of COVID And obviously everything was weird and it just seemed like we needed more joy in our lives.
We started doing Summer Fridays also. It happened to be the first summer where I had more actual employees. I had only ever had before that. I mean, at first only a part time person, and then after that, only one person. And that was the first summer where I felt like obviously when it was just like a part time person, part time, and then it was just me.
I was like, I do whatever I want. But once I started bringing on more people to be a part of the agency and I don’t know, I feel like I’ve talked about this stem from COVID This might be an episode for conversation for another episode or conversation for another day, but people do ask me a lot. Like how I got started with hiring, how I made my first hires, things like that for the agency, and how we started building out into more of an agency back then. So that is worth mentioning. I think that really did just come from COVID It was one of those kind of I guess one of the good things that came out of it was that all of a sudden my son was sent home from school and was going to be home for the foreseeable future and I still had a ton of work to do.
So that summer, basically it worked out that I was like, I need to hire more help with my business because work was one thing I could get help with. I couldn’t really hire a babysitter to come into my house. I mean, I know some people did end up doing that, but in the moment it was like, you couldn’t do that, right? So I had more help in the business at that point than I ever had before. So I started thinking about like, okay, what do I want this company to be like right now that it’s actually like, other people’s workplace?
I want it to be the absolute best workplace that I could make it be. Because why not create the best place to work if you’re in charge, right? So that was kind of that thought process for me. I was like, how can we make sure that if I’m hiring people and if I’m building off this team, how am I making sure that I’m consciously making this the best work experience for them, the best company I can make it be for my employees? So, yeah, we implemented Summer Fridays because that seemed like an immediate, obvious way to do that one thing that we could do to make it a great place to work and also just give ourselves a little time and, I don’t know, little enjoyment in that first COVID summer.
So that summer. Yeah, we started implementing Summer Fridays and then basically, we never saw any reason to stop. When it became fall, it was like, why would we stop doing this? Kind of so it was kind of like we were used to it, right? We were used to getting everything done.
We had seen that we could get everything done in four days and how much we enjoyed having that flexibility in the schedule. And that’s one reason why I think it’s funny when people make it sound like a four day work week is hard or like, they wouldn’t be able to do it because a lot of companies do Summer Fridays. So people are used to getting I know sometimes people are like, every other Friday, or it’s just that you leave early on the Friday and you still go in the morning. But I feel like anyone who’s ever done that has been like, what’s the point of even coming in in the morning? You’re not getting that much more done on a Friday morning, right?
So I think that if anyone tries it, even for the summer, you see that you can get everything done in four days. So that was really how it came to be. It was never one of those big shifts for us. It wasn’t a big decision where we’re like, okay, we’re going to shift suddenly everything that we’ve been doing and make it now be on a different schedule. It was kind of like we were just building out what that looks like anyway.
So also take all of this with a grain of salt. We’re a small team. We’ve been doing this essentially from the beginning, so I know it might be a little bit different if you have a much larger team, some other compilation of how you work with people, it could be different. For us, we just kind of got it started that way and kept with it. So I would say one of the big things, too, of why this was important to me and why I really wanted it to be a thing is I just feel like we need more time.
We need more time outside of work. I have never liked the idea of having to ask permission to do things that just come along with being a person in my very short stint of working for others. If you’ve heard this podcast, you probably know I started this company very soon after graduating college, but there was a short period of time where I worked somewhere else. And I hated the idea of having to ask for vacation even, or having to keep track of vacation time and feel that you don’t have that agency over yourself, but also, even more than that, just hated having to schedule ask for time to go to a doctor’s appointment. Right.
Like having to schedule that so far in advance that it would come at a time that you could go and then essentially request that time off from work, which is basically asking someone if you can go to a doctor’s appointment, right. It just always rubbed me the wrong way to be a grown adult, having to ask someone to do that stuff or having to even just schedule it in that way. I know you’re not essentially necessarily asking, but I really didn’t like that. And I feel like there are just so many things that are really only possible to do during working hours like that, or they’re just so much easier to do during working hours. Maybe there’s like one appointment after five or something and if you schedule far enough in advance, you can snag it.
But there’s just certain things that I just don’t think you should have to do that as a grown adult. And especially once you have a family, once you have children. And that just makes it all the more difficult. You have to fit in everything you have to do to run a household, run a family, run your own life outside of working hours, and all the more appointments that come with it when you have kids.
I feel like it’s a lot and I just think that it’s not worth it to have to schedule all of those for you’re missing work time and then you’re essentially using your vacation time for appointments. And I never liked that whole idea. And then also, just, again, how much easier it can be sometimes to schedule those things even if you don’t have to, but to schedule them during the daytime. And it’s like everything’s so much less busy. You can go, like even something like grocery shopping.
It’s so much easier to do that in the middle of the day on a Friday than on Saturday morning when everyone else in the world is doing it, things like that. And also, I feel like if you spend your whole Saturday doing all of those things and then you only end up with like one day of the weekend left for enjoying yourself. For spending time with friends and family or doing the things that fill you up. And I think that we just need at least one more day for all of those things. So yeah, it’s like you get two days of the weekend, you use one for the necessities and then have one left.
And I just always feel like having a weekday done, a weekday there to get things done is a lot better and makes a lot more sense. So for me personally, that’s where a lot of that came from. I just wanted my employees to have the ability to do that. I want to have the ability to do that. Of course, as a business owner, I still could do what I wanted to do, but it still could be disruptive if I’m then not going to be around in the middle of the day on Friday and my team’s planning to have a meeting or something like that.
So even that I just think it’s not worth it. And additionally, as a PR agency, and I know I said I didn’t work in an office a lot before I had my own company, but I had a lot of experiences, I had a ton of internships during college. I worked in a lot of different agencies actually, and in house for companies big and small all through college and in my short time afterwards. So I have had experience in several different companies and also then in my experience with eleven years of having my business where we work with multiple clients all the time. So kind of seeing the behind the scenes of how things are working in a lot of different businesses, like what’s going on at all of these companies.
And I always felt like I could accomplish more in four days than most companies do in five if I wanted to. And I knew that I could find a team of people who also could do that. I think that a lot of places people treat Fridays like a throwaway day kind of people. A lot of the times they’re coming in Friday morning already like, hey, we’re almost to the weekend. You’re already tired, you’re already thinking about the weekend.
It’s like, oh, it’s just Friday, nothing’s expected of me. People are just like chitchatting more and not expecting to get much done. I know that’s not everywhere, but I feel like that is a lot of the case. And I just feel like we can be so much more powerful in four days in the office, knowing that that means we’re going to get the fifth day fully off so we can get everything done. And then we’re not just kind of wasting time in the office because we feel like we have to be there, if that makes sense, but feeling like we don’t really want to.
So I knew I could make that be the case if I created that culture in the business that I could create that culture of let’s do four days real good, then we have Friday for whatever we want personally. And that is that’s been the case. That’s absolutely been what I feel like we’ve created. I also think if any of I know a lot of you out there are moms too. I know one thing that all women feel is that once you become a mom, you become so much more efficient because you just have to be.
And even if you’re not working at your day job in anything, you’re so much more efficient. So that’s one thing too. I knew that I already was getting more done in one day than a lot of people were getting in several days from the minute that I had my son. And I know that a lot of other people are the same too, and a lot of my team is moms too. We’re very efficient.
So that is why I was not too worried about it. That’s kind of my thought process there. And the other thing too that I will say is that being a PR agency, I think there are certain things that again, I say take it with a grain of salt because it’s a specific kind of company, right? I don’t have experience doing this with any other kinds of companies or agencies, but with a PR agency, it’s common knowledge that you don’t really pitch media on a Friday.
In most cases. Clients don’t usually want to have a meeting on Friday either. Most clients don’t ask to do things on Friday. Most media is not organizing stuff on a Friday. So we’re not losing anything in that sense by not being in the office.
Technically on a Friday, the only things we’d be doing is kind of like planning or prepping or creating materials or really just things that could be happening on any other day anyways. And so that was one piece for me too, was like we were never planning the real needle movers for Friday. And the other side of that coin too, though, is that as PR people, I would say that we’re also not really ever fully off. And that kind of just comes with the territory. So while it sounds like, oh, you must have such good boundaries to only have a four day work week yes and no.
I think it partly also feels possible to me because I know that if something does come up on a Friday, we are going to handle it. That comes with the territory of being in PR is that you’re not fully off off. You’re always kind of going to be checking your you’re going to pay attention to your email, you’re going to check your phone. If something comes through, you’re going to see it.
Usually it doesn’t happen, but if someone gets back to us to schedule an interview on a Friday and they say they want to talk to them that day, you better believe we’re still going to be doing that. We’re going to be setting it up. We’re not going to let something like that fall through the cracks. I’m still always seeing my emails. I’m not and I don’t think any PR person really ever could be one of those people who’s just like, I’m going to put my phone in the other room so that I’m fully turned off all day.
That doesn’t really happen. Even on any day of the week, that’s not going to happen. I’m still going to facilitate something.
That’s one thing, it almost never comes up and if it does, I still know I’m still going to handle it. I will say too, there’s a lot of things you can do these days with automation and scheduling. So there are certain things that we’ll do. This is kind of getting into the practices which I wasn’t really ready for yet, I don’t think, but well, it’s also just kind of how we do it, I guess. It’s all kind of the same basically.
As you probably know, you can schedule, send an email, right? So we will do things like that if there’s something that makes sense for somebody to receive it on a Friday. So if there’s something like a reminder for someone who’s going to do, maybe they’re doing an interview on Monday, we want to send them the reminder on Friday. So that it’s essentially the business day before we can schedule that to send out on Friday. We’ll put it together on Thursday or whenever we want and schedule it to send out on Friday.
So it’ll be like top of their inbox next time they see it. We also send out weekly recap emails to clients of like, here’s what’s been going on this week. And we usually want them to get that on a Friday if that’s the end of their week. So we’ll schedule those sometimes to go out on a Friday or if we want to send a quick note to see how an interview went, if they had an interview Thursday afternoon or if they did have something on Friday, we can schedule a note to just be like, hey, how did it go? So things like that.
So that we’re still essentially checking in on anything that needs to be checked in on and reminding people about things that have to be reminded about at the right time that make sense for them. So we’re kind of building things out that make sense for the other person more than us. If it’s the client or the media person, we’re going to make sure it makes sense for them. And that’s not like altered just because we’re not on that day. So that is worth mentioning, I think.
And also if you’re like, well, I’ve gotten emails from you on Friday that’s also worth mentioning and I think that there’s totally something to be said too for having the kind of team where you know you can trust them to also use their judgment. Like it’s not just me. My assistant account manager does a lot of the media pitching too. I do trust that if she sees an email come through on Friday, even if she’s completely unavailable, she can forward it to me. She usually will see it and would forward it to me.
Or she might know she can just handle it quickly or make that judgment call on like does it need to be responded to now or is it just something that’s come through and we can make note of it but it doesn’t require any immediate scheduling until next week or something like that. They might not technically be working, but they’re going to be kind of aware of what’s going on that’s so minimal that I don’t even know if it’s worth mentioning because again, it’s so rare that something important happens on a Friday. But again, this is just PR agency life that could just as well happen at 08:00 on a Wednesday night. And yes, you’re technically off at 08:00 on a Wednesday night. Anybody in PR will tell you they’re still going to be excited that they got that response come through from a writer.
So again, these are things that are a little bit abnormal probably to most businesses just because we are in the PR space. And I do think that it’s probably one of the hardest kinds of agencies or businesses in general to implement this kind of boundary because it is very fast paced and it is sort of like reactionary in some cases because we might have pitched something three months ago proactively, but then we have no idea. They might reply to it like next Friday morning, three months from them saying they want to do the interview with the client that day. And we do have to make that happen. We can’t miss that opportunity and not facilitate that.
But again, it just almost never happens that way. But it is worth pointing out we are still sort of always aware, but again, that would happen with a PR agency no matter what time of day, what day of the week could be Christmas morning and probably they’re still going to be aware if media gets back to you. So it’s unique and also not that unique. So anyway, I think that’s something that most industries wouldn’t have to be thinking about much at all, probably at all if you’re doing a four day work week. That’s just very unique to the PR space, I think, because we are so at the mercy sort of media and needing to make sure those super timely opportunities work out.
So how do we actually make a four day work week? There are a couple of things that I think would kind of be implementable to anyone. This is not related to a PR business or anything. Some of the things that we’ve done to make it work, I think the most important first and foremost is just being really organized and intentional with our work and with our plans for each week so we know exactly what we’re going to get done and when we’re going to get it done. And then we know it’s all going to happen.
It’s all going to happen at the right time and by the right date and things like that. So we break down at the beginning of the month, first of all, what’s going to happen for the month and then we break down every single week. So what is the overall plan each week of the month to make sure that the overall goals for the month are met, right? And again with PR, again, I guess in our case a little bit different too, in that it’s not like we know exactly what’s going to happen each week. I’m sure with some businesses, even with just like a marketing agency, it’s like, okay, we know what the deliverables are, right?
We’re going to write this blog post. We’re going to plan out this social content. We’re going to create this material, we’re going to put this best and that out there and these dates and these times on these platforms or whatever that is. PR is a little bit different in that we don’t know exactly who’s going to accept our pitch or when. So the deliverables are a little bit different when it comes to media outreach, but again, that’s just more important to track every single week and kind of be like, okay, here’s what we did.
Here’s where we are so far in the goal. Our goal might be to secure XYZ kind of pieces this month. And at the end of this week, we have not yet secured that. So next week let’s shift this messaging or change up this pitch or double down on pitching to these people, things like that, and just make sure we kind of alter that for the next week. But at the end of the day, that’s a bad phrase for this.
At the beginning of the month, we have a pretty good sense of who we want to pitch, at what time, what we kind of need to make sure happens and gets out there each week to stick to our goals. So I think that would be the main number one thing, is just knowing exactly what you need to do in order to get everything done that you need to for that week and really clear on who is doing what so that they can also plan more specifically what they’re going to do day to day.
And yeah, I mean, as I said, as the PR agency, again, we’re not really doing pitching on Friday anyway, so we’re not missing anything there. We do try to be really in touch about what we’re kind of working on, just internally be in touch. Like, so we broke down the week and who’s doing what we do. Try to also go another step further and say, okay, I’m planning to work on this project and this client this day of the week so that we are even staying abreast with what each person is working on at different times. So that obviously that also kind of shifts over the week as well.
But a lot of the times we can kind of be like, okay, we know that we’re all going to be kind of thinking about this client on this day or that kind of thing, so that if we want to talk something through together, we can. Maybe that’s getting a little too nitty gritty, but that’s kind of how we structure the weeks.
And, yeah, we’re not really losing any time. We’re not really losing any time. I don’t think on Fridays we’re still pitching just as many days as any other PR agency would because again on Fridays you wouldn’t be pitching anyways probably. So I think it’s just thinking about those things like what would you normally do on a Friday and how can you make sure you’re getting them done on other days? I think we’re just missing that time like chatting with coworkers, maybe hanging out with the water cooler, talking about your weekend plans, things like that.
But in the scheme of things, we’re not really missing any time there. And our clients still get just as much time from us when it comes to what we’re doing for them. We’re still getting everything done that they would get from an agency working five days a week. We’re a small agency. The only thing I could see is like once we’re at capacity, we need to hire more people because we don’t have more time.
But again, that’s the exact same thing that would happen if you were there five days a week. You’d still reach capacity at a certain point and need to hire another person. And that’s kind of the only thing I could think of as thinking about how we structure that week and what we’re losing by not being there on that one day. It’s just a little more time, but we still get everything I think done and the clients that we do have get just as much time from us and things like that. I guess the other things that we do to structure that week and make sure we are getting everything done once we’ve kind of gotten it planned out is we start with that Monday morning meeting where we get together and go over those plans.
We do also have a Thursday end of the week meeting and that we do at 02:00 on Thursdays. So it kind of gives us enough time to check in on how the week was and then there’s still a couple of hours afterwards that people can get more things done, tie up loose ends, get ready for next week. Like it’s not the very end of the day. So that’s kind of like the other chance to. Kind of check in and and then throughout the week, when it comes to clients and client meetings, we try to keep those to one day of the week, or at least to certain blocks of time.
I always have felt this really has nothing to do with like a four day work week either. But I know a lot of people already do this too, even on a five day work week, but just kind of time blocking things like meetings. Because I do feel like it can be tough to switch between different modes, like if you’re in meeting mode versus getting into kind of creative mode or other things. Like if I’m getting into pitching mode, where we’re pitching media, it’s hard to switch gears all of a sudden and then go into a meeting. So I try to structure our time as much as possible to kind of have meetings back to back as much as possible on certain days and then know we have other days for those more specific, kind of deep work, creative mode, actually getting things on our to do list done kind of days.
And I think that’s really helpful too. And again, it’s just kind of like two. I think one thing that someone asked was how do we approach it with clients? How do we approach our four day work week when it comes to clients? And it’s really like I think if we stay really on top of communication with clients and they know, they always hear from us at certain times, they always know what to expect with what we’re doing.
They always know what we’re doing behind the scenes as much as possible. No one really even notices. Because again, it’s like if we have a regular meeting scheduled, when we bring on a client, we say, hey, we’re going to have a monthly meeting or a bi weekly meeting. It kind of depends. We say like, hey, does Thursday work for you?
Or we’ll see ask what works for them. I’ve almost never had a client suggest Friday. But again, it’s just like we throw out some options and it’s the same. Maybe our Wednesdays was already totally booked up with meetings. They don’t know.
Nobody asks like, oh, why can’t you do Wednesday? We just say like, oh, Wednesday is booked. Right? So, same thing. We’re obviously working on Wednesday, but we really don’t that is a day that we don’t schedule meetings for.
And of course, if there’s something that comes up and they really need to talk, we can. But for the most part, it’s the same thing as not being there on Fridays. We just don’t offer it as a meeting date time option and people don’t really ask. So it just works out that, again, with both things, people don’t know necessarily that we’re not working on Friday. People don’t know that we’re keeping Wednesdays free because that’s our deep work day.
It doesn’t really matter. It’s just not available for meetings, nobody really asks. So we’re able to kind of have those boundaries without it being like a thing.
And when it comes to setting expectations with clients too, it’s really just not even something that we’ve ever really brought up with clients. It’s not something that’s a big deal. It’s never really come up. I think I’ve mentioned it to maybe one or two clients, maybe once or twice. It’s nothing we hide.
It’s public. I’m talking about it right now. It’s out there. It’s public knowledge that we would do a four day work week. It’s not like I’m hiding it, but it’s not like something that when someone comes to hire us, they say like, oh, what are your working hours?
Or something? And it’s not like I say, like, oh, by the way, we only work four days a week. It’s never come up and it’s never been an issue. So again, I think that clients know what to expect from us based on our deliverables. We say in a proposal, here’s what you’re going to get from us.
And it’s not an hourly based thing either. So it’s not like they’re ever like, oh, could I have more time and have you work on a Friday on my project? That’s just not the way it’s going to work. So yeah, I think that for us too, people understand the kind of business owner I am. People understand the kind of company we are, and they get that.
We’re going to make sure everything goes smoothly. We’re going to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. It’s just like very much how we are with clients. And I’m not going to say, like, I don’t answer the phone on Friday. I’m not going to tell them they can’t have access to me or us on Friday.
And again, that might come more with being a PR agency. So maybe it’s a little different for other people, but since they are always I’m always going to be accessible, right? It’s not like I’m not there. It’s not like I’m not around. So again, it really just comes down to scheduling meetings outside of that time and then making sure we’re going to get everything done for them outside of in the time that we’re there.
And nobody’s ever really asked or seemed concerned in the least which day of the week we’re doing different pieces of their project.
Maybe I should have even better boundaries. Again, I think I would and could if it was not PR, maybe I would, but right now, I will still answer the phone as much on a Friday as I would if well, no, I mean, don’t call me on Saturday, but you know what I mean. I will see the email if a media person gets back to us. If a client has an emergency on a Friday, I’m going to answer the phone. If they have an emergency on a Saturday, I would also answer the phone, though, that’s just a matter of being like a small business who cares about our clients.
So yeah, again, it’s just in this kind of business, I’m not going to fully shut off my phone. So it might be a little bit different advice than if you were in a different business and had different systems in place maybe than what we have. But that’s how it works for us and I think it’s been pretty good. One other thing that I’ve seen people do that I don’t do is have some kind of away message that they’ll put up, like on Friday or on anytime that they’re out of the office and we’ll say, I’m out today, I’ll get back to you, or someone will get back to you first thing on Monday or something like that. And I could see doing that just to kind of keep those boundaries a little stronger if you had the kind of business that that could work for.
Again, for me, I’m never going to do that. Like on the PR side of things, I never want mediator to think I’m completely unavailable and I never am completely unavailable again. I know some of you are like, she’s crazy, I have such better boundaries than her. And that is probably true, but yeah, I’m just not willing to let things fall through the cracks. So I’m going to see the email come through.
I never want media to think that they’re getting an away message because I’m not going to be available. I think for the most part too, though, somebody emails you on a Friday, they’re not necessarily expecting you to get in any business. They might not hear back from you until Monday because a lot of people don’t get through all of their inbox on a Friday afternoon. So that’s even not even a concern really for me. I mean, again, if it’s Media, we’ll get back to them right away no matter what.
But again, I would even if it was like 08:00 on a Wednesday night, yeah, that’s kind of one thing that I think other people could do differently though.
And I would say too, again, maybe another bad example of how I’m not great with the boundaries. But again, it’s like you’re the business owner, you get to make the rules, right? What feels good to you is the most important. I don’t really subscribe to the feeling of to the idea that you have to have these super strict boundaries and if you don’t stick to your boundaries all the time, you’re weak or you’re not going to do, I don’t know, whatever. I don’t like those kind of negative connotations.
For example, right now we’re going through an opening with a client or we’re handling an opening for a client and they’re doing this committee opening, committee meeting on Friday mornings. And I’m not leading the meeting at all. I’m able to listen in and it takes almost nothing from me because I’m not having to prep anything. I don’t even have to have my camera on. I can be in the car, like have it up on my phone just to listen in.
And I know some people will be like, oh, you’re working on a Friday morning when you’re not supposed to be working. But for me, I would be a little bit more stressed to miss it and then feel like I don’t know what’s going on with that situation. Whereas for me, if I just listen in, feel like I’m knowing what’s going on and can then act on it accordingly the following week, that makes me feel a lot better. So that kind of thing, I think it’s totally allowed if it’s something that’s going to stress you out more if you don’t do it, that’s when boundaries aren’t even serving you. What I will say is I would never ask my team to be on that.
I’ve never even invited them to it. I’ve never given them the option to join because when it comes to my team, I’m a lot more strict with what they’re expected to do. I’m a lot more strict with their boundaries and them being able to turn completely off because they are not the owner of this business. Again, my assistant account manager, who does a lot of the media outreach, she’s still monitoring her stuff a lot of the time, but she’s good at silencing Slack notifications after 05:00, for example, because sometimes somebody will message outside of her working hours and she’s not expected to respond. I mean, that being said, if she sees media responses come through on a Saturday, she’s still going right back into Slack and telling me because again, we’re just excited.
We are excited as a PR agency, one thing to know, even after eleven years, we’re excited by every positive media hit and every positive response. So we will talk about it even outside of hours. But I’m not expecting her to be on a call on a Friday. I’m not expecting her to be doing anything outside of those hours except for maybe monitoring for an exciting response, which again is only unique to the PR space, I think. So yeah, boundaries for them is important as employees.
Boundaries for me as the business owner, are always going to be a little different, I think. And I know everybody has different opinions on that. You might have really good boundaries as a business owner, but also even I think the term really good boundaries is very subjective. Like your boundaries are different and that’s fine. I also really like to do things on Fridays that are kind of business building things and I just sort of don’t even see that as work.
And again, that’s like my own issues probably. And so for you, you might be like, she’s not even doing a four day work week, but I love to get together with business connections on Fridays, go out for an in person lunch or coffee. To me, that stuff is fun and I like it. I won’t do like a client meeting on a Friday, but if I’m meeting with somebody that I want to get together with, I’ll do that on a Friday. Or even if it’s like an initial meet and greet at a space, if somebody has a physical location, they want me to see it because maybe we’re going to do a proposal or consider doing a project together.
I’ll go look at that on a Friday. I’ll go meet them to do that kind of meeting on a Friday mostly because again, it’s like that’s the kind of thing that’s going to stress me out less because I feel like it’s an extra day. I feel like that’s a free day. Whereas if I schedule something like that in the middle of the week, I’m like, oh my gosh, that just took up my whole day. Now I didn’t have time to do any of the cross anything else off my list.
So I actually prefer to do something that’s out of the office like that on a Friday. It makes me feel like I do have a little extra time and it’s not taking up my other work time. So I like to do things like that. I like to do anything else that gets me out of the office, out of the house. For fun too, though, is like a big part of that.
I will also do all of my fun things and all of my personal things. But yeah, it’s just for me not having a super hard and fast boundary where it’s like I will not do anything that has to talk about work that I will. I’ve also gone through stages where I’ve spent a lot of my Fridays doing kind of like fun projects, like when we’re first getting the magazine off the ground. Sometimes even now, sometimes I’ll record podcast episodes on a Friday. Those things that don’t feel like they’re not immediate client work and they feel like fun for me.
So do without what you will. Again, my team is fully off. So it is technically we are good at this. I think my team is very good at it. I think they really love it.
I know they really love it, and I really love that it’s giving them a chance to have a life outside of work and to have a little bit of a chance for that balance and a chance to just explore other things they might want to do or have experiences that they might want to have outside of their main job without having to squeeze it into the weekends. And I love to hear about the things that they’re doing. We’re a small, really tight knit team. We even have a random channel on Slack that’s not for work related stuff. It’s just kind of like your group chat with your friends and we’ll share what we’re doing or send a picture from this or that thing that we’re doing over the weekend or on a Friday, and it’s just nice to see, you know what, they’re out living their life.
They’re getting to do these things because of the kind of company that we’ve created and I think that’s great. And then I also get to have an extra day as the business owner to do whatever I want to do, whether it’s business or work. It’s just I have no guilt over using it for whatever I want and I think that’s absolutely worth it and I love it. And if you guys have any other suggestions or things you do to make a four day work week work, let me know. I hope that what you take away from this is like, oh yeah, she made it sound like it’s no big deal.
They just squeeze all their work into four days. That is ultimately what it is. Part of me is like every time I see someone have a conversation about a four day work week, I’m like, what is there even to talk about? There’s not really that much to it. But again, as I mentioned at the beginning, I do always feel like I get some kind of takeaway from how other people implement systems in their business.
So I still think it’s worth talking about. But I hope that you’re inspired that. If you’ve been thinking about it, you will think about it a little harder or try to implement something. Even if you just do summer Fridays for the rest of the summer, which is like, well, maybe fall Fridays just to try it, you can always try it and you can always go back. I think it’s just mostly about that communication and scheduling and planning and having plans in place and updating any systems.
If you did have any systems that had to do with something happening on a Friday, just updating those and making sure everyone’s on the same page. But that’s really what it is. I’ve never had any issue on the client side or not feeling like we’re getting everything done or anything like that. So I think it’s definitely the way of the future. I think a lot of businesses are shifting this way, and I think a lot more are going to.
And I think it’s up to us to make sure we’re staying on the cutting edge of that and creating these great workplaces to work in and staying ahead of the way work and life will be. Especially as women business owners who have the ability to shape households and all of that. So if you have never left a review on this podcast, please do please tell me. If you liked this episode, please share it with anyone that you think might get something out of it. And keep your eyes peeled.
We’re going to do some giveaways and things like that on the podcast and on Instagram, so follow us over at Quotable Media Co. We post all of our episodes there, as well as our Quotable Media Co content, and I would appreciate you hanging out with us over there in between episodes and yeah, leaving five stars on the podcast for this episode so that more people find us later. And definitely message me if you have any thoughts about a four day work week or if you think you’re going to try to implement it for your company. You can message on Instagram or always can shoot me an email. Alessandra@quotablemediaco.com.